The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), said on Tuesday that the latest recovered tranche of the funds looted by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, has yet to be repatriated to Nigeria.
Malami, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, was reacting to a claim by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that the recovered loot had been looted.
The minister had on February 4, 2020, on behalf of the Federal Government, signed a tripartite agreement between the United States of America and the Island of New Jersey for the repatriation of $300m of the Abacha loot.
But controversy has continued to trail the discovered loot following Bloomberg’s report of a claim by the United States of America that the Federal Government led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was planning to hand over about $100m out of the Abacha loot to Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State.
The report further stated that the Nigerian government was blocking attempts to recover part of the looted funds allegedly traced to Bagudu, who is the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum.
But Malami said on Tuesday that the loot expected from the US and the Island of New Jessy had “yet to be received by the government”.
“So, the issue regarding embezzlement or misappropriation of same is an imaginary illusion which does not even arise as the money has not yet been repatriated to Nigeria,” he stated.
He said looted money recovered before 2015 “were substantially recovered by past governments that should be made to account on the application or otherwise of the funds.”
He added that looted funds recovered by the Buhari regime were judiciously utilised for high-impact public-oriented projects.